After Successful Olympics Coverage Online, Adobe Wants to Pass Everyday TV Everywhere

Adobe Pass app powered over  2,200 hours of streaming coverage

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

If you wanted any Olympic events via streaming last month, you may have witnessed the future of live TV without even knowing it. NBC’s Online Olympic Coverage of 25 sports and 2200 hours of streaming resulted in over 88 million authenticated views over the course of the 13 days of competition.  And the interface is put out by Adobe.  Called Adobe Pass, it’s the same technology that is used to watch streaming video from such sites as Cartoon Network and ESPN3.   And with more cord cutters seeks to eliminate that cable box on their entertainment center, Adobe thinks the future is more streaming, passed right through them.

As TV Everywhere gains momentum, a transformation is occurring in how consumers engage with, and broadcast and cable networks monetize TV content. We’ve seen a 10-fold increase in authenticated streams in the first six months of 2012 and Adobe Pass has been used for a number of major events already this year … – Adobe Blog

Operating as the flagship of Adobe’s Project Primetime initiative, Adobe Pass has become the defacto streaming standard for over 150 pay TV providers and over 40 sites. Adobe has used it to stream live coverage of NCAA’s March Madness, UEFA Euro 2012 soccer, and the NBA playoffs.  And now that football season has returned, expect to see live video streaming for NCAA College football, especially for the PAC-12 and the BIG TEN conferences through live ESPN coverage.  But Adobe Pass isn’t just for sports, supporting mobile apps from 25 major networks including Fox, CNN, TNT, MTV, Disney, and NBCU.   So, clearly, the Olympics isn’t the only event that has turned to Adobe Pass for online streaming coverage.

To date, Adobe claims over 90% market saturation, with numbers that include 70 percent viewing from PCs and 30 percent being picked up by  smartphones and tablets.  Of that remaining 30%, over 81% are on iOS devices, while Android takes up the remaining 19 percent of authenticated streams.   All told, Adobe says that around seven million TV subscriber households are watching video streams on a device other than their cable or satellite box.  That’s huge.

And Adobe Pass is expanding it’s capabilities with a trio of features that will help make it easier to watch streams online.  First, they have a Free Preview mode, which enables users to “try before you buy” for a limited time before they have to sign up and verify their subscription.  Then there’s the Automatic Authentication, which is a perk of having subscription of cable and satellite services bundled with their internet access.  This prevents users from constantly having to log in.  And then there’s their new content API, which will enable independents to create their own streaming content using Adobe Pass.

But all that is beside the point.  Cable cutters want to get rid of their overpriced cable and satellite service, not to make it easier to use it.  They want to streamline their life because they feel Hollywood wants to “double dip” on them with multiple entertainment bills, online bandwidth caps, and even throttling down traffic from heavy duty users (especially during prime time).    So while Adobe Pass will get a great grade from content providers, it’s unlikely to get anything but a fail from content consumers.

For more information on Adobe Pass and the TV Everywhere project, watch videos here and here.

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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